TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
Monday, October 15, 2018
TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
by Melisa Kaya
With 31 suites and the design concept that created by preserving the historical features of the building, Establishment Hotel offers its guests a different accommodation experience. However, with est., Mr. Wong, Establishment Bar and hemmesphere, Establishment Hotel hosts a wide range of gastronomic diversity and different activities and entertainment options. I talked with Felicity Arthur, Hotel Manager at Establishment Hotel, about these features and the advantages of being in the middle of Sydney’s CBD.
Felicity, before talking about Establishment Hotel, could you tell us about your background and your career in Merivale?
Felicity Arthur, Hotel Manager at Establishment Hotel
I have been living and breathing hotels for 20 years between Sydney and London. My experience starts from my food and beverage days and branches to my passion of rooms division having my most experience within the front desk area with guests face to face. I have been lucky enough to manage in hotels from a diverse service level to property size and each and everyone with a different challenge. I have worked in many chains, including Marriott and Accor for the most part of this. In those chains I have received many trainings and gained my foundations, however, it is my boutique hotel experience that truly allowed me to create my very own character and style.
While as Hotel Manager at Establishment Hotel, I also casually lecture the Rooms Division Management subject to Masters of International Hotel Management through the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School. I get a real enjoyment out of training and I am lucky enough to teach the next generation of hoteliers.
Merivale has more than 60 years of history. Could you briefly tell us about Merivale?
Owned and run by the Hemmes family for over 60 years, Merivale began as an iconic fashion house started by John and Merivale Hemmes. Merivale’s fashionable beginnings were soon followed by a venture into hospitality, opening a Thai tea café within their Sydney CBD fashion building in 1970. From here, Merivale’s hospitality roots were firmly planted.
Merivale is now led by CEO Justin Hemmes, whose creativity and knack for pushing the boundaries has made Merivale what it is today. Hemmes has become a pioneer within the Australian hospitality industry, growing the ever-expanding Merivale portfolio to over 70 brands and venues.
You are welcoming your guests with Australian hospitality culture. What does guest mean for you?
At Merivale, our guests are our main priority and without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. They are why we do what we do and our aim is to bring a little magic into the everyday for the guest. We are driven to deliver unique and memorable experiences to every person who steps into one of our hotels, bars, restaurants or pubs, and want our guests to feel as if they are at home in our venues.
Establishment Hotel is located in the middle of Sydney’s CBD. Could you tell us about your location and advantages of being there?
Hidden down Bridge Lane, nestled amidst hole in the wall bars, lively cafes and above some of Sydney’s best restaurants like Mr. Wong and sushi e, Establishment Hotel is the perfect place to discover the city in style. In the heart of the city, we don’t bat an eye at taking advantage of our location. Stroll to the Opera House, explore the Rocks or wander through the Botanical Gardens, they’re all within walking distance. Take a tipple or two at one of our many surrounding bars before hitting one of our restaurants. Don’t worry, we’ll sort you out with the best seat in the house before you have the best sleep in the city.
Could you tell us about the Establishment Hotel and the overall concept?
A historic building by its bones but boutique in its looks, this 31-suite hotel has a close-knit team to keep it humming. Once a prestigious publishing house in the 1930s, rustic beams, soaring ceilings, and cast iron fixtures retain its rare character. Sophisticated and spacious guest suites with cutting-edge comforts bring it into the 21st century with applause.
What type of different rooms do you offer to your guests? What are their features?
Studio room - This 35 sqm space is full of the frills and none of the fuss. Perfect for dropping your bags and getting stuck into the city or sinking back into your queen size bed and going hard on your premium mini bar.
Establishment Room - With 50 sqm, a queen bed and a premium stocked mini bar, the weight of the day will simply fade away. Whip on your favourite tunes via your Bose sound system and soak it up in your large bathtub enjoying bespoke Le Labo toiletries.
Besides your 29 elegantly appointed guest rooms, in the Establishment Hotel, there are two penthouse suites. Could you tell us about the details and designs concept of penthouse suites?
The Loft Penthouse is described as A king bed like a cloud, a bathroom bigger than a guest room, an oversized free standing spa, this split level room is a sight to behold. Make it a pad from which you explore the city or stay in with room service available from Establishment and our celebrated restaurant, Mr. Wong.
This 100 sqm dual-level loft on the top floor of Establishment is smack bang in the buzz of the city. A historic gem in the middle of all the action, exposed beams and rustic details set the scene for a night of modern indulgence. Bose sound system, 50 inch Samsung TV, unlimited Netflix, and a premium mini bar complete the experience.
The Duplex Penthouse is described as This 118 sqm dual-level loft on the top floor of Establishment is perfect for a weekend away or party with friends. Soaring ceilings, plenty of space, a king bed like a cloud and a bathroom bigger than a guest room, you’ll never need to leave your Penthouse suite. And, you won’t have to with room service available from Establishment and our celebrated restaurant, Mr. Wong. A Bose sound system, 50 inch Samsung TV, unlimited Netflix, and a premium mini bar also set you up for a successful stay. If you’re looking to get flex, take advantage of our in-room yoga mats or access our private gym or get a free guest pass to Fitness First Platinum Bond Street Gym.
Please tell us about your services and facilities. How could your guests spend time at Establishment Hotel?
With everything from a fine-dining restaurant and a landmark Sydney bar, to a subterranean speakeasy, we have all your entertainment needs covered in our historic CBD building.
- Dining at est. is a finely-tuned dance. A balance between the drama of this timeless setting, within a heritage-listed building, and the contemporary Australian food, executed with precision. The seasonally-driven menu continually evolves and explores the interplay of classic flavours with local ingredients.
- Sushi-making is not only an art form, but it is also an instant theatre. In a display of age-old techniques, our chefs prepare each dish in front of you with precision and flair. Our experienced sushi chefs hand-select everything, so only the very best ends up on your plate. Our attention-to-detail extends to the curated sake list. An intimate sushi experience, melding modern and ancient techniques, where every detail is considered, sushi e (which sits alongside hemmesphere) is the place for voyeuristic chef-watching.
- hemmesphere is the place to go to kick back with your favourite cocktail, a glass of something from our extensive wine list, or perhaps a nip or two from our aged spirit list. Our table service means you don’t have to lift a finger until your drink is in hand, so all you need to do is relax and settle in. Order Japanese food from the sushi e kitchen and make an evening of it. Spacious in size yet intimate in feel, hemmesphere is like a world of its own.
- Mr. Wong does Cantonese-style food in a larger than life way. Seating 240 people over two levels and serving up a selection of up to 80 dishes, it’s a big affair. Yet somehow the restaurant still manages to feel intimate, with nooks for two, dim lighting and moody jazz.
- An underground prohibition-style bar is Palmer & Co, celebrating a time when booze was banned, yet free-flowing
Which is the top season for travelers who want to visit Sydney? What is the reason?
SUMMER! Add in New Year's Eve & you have a recipe for the best staycation ever. We reign in the new year as one of the first and we are world famous for our celebrations and backdrop. Being Summer, the temperature is warm enough to stay out in a t-shirt while the night becomes late.
What are the most famous attractions near you?
- Mr. Wongs – (you could almost call the Deep Fried Ice-Cream Dessert there a famous attraction it is that good!)
- Sydney Opera House
- Harbour Bridge
- Circular Quay
- Darling Harbour
- Hyde Park
If you have only one weekend in Sydney as a first-time visitor, in this limited time, what are the best things to do?
Daytime at Ivy Pool Bar, Dinner dumplings at Mr. Wongs, Best cocktails in town at Palmer & Co, Sleep in a stunning Establishment Penthouse, next morning Room Service Breakfast followed by a Bridge Climb of the Harbour Bridge to take in all the Sydney views. This is the Sydney bucket list complete!
Thank you Felicity for this enjoyable interview.